Architecture: Otsu House In Casuarina, Australia

A modern-day dream home, Otsu House is a refreshing and timeless exploration of texture, material and light. The site’s proximity to the beach called for a pared back and neutral colour palette, filling the internal spaces with warmth and reflective character.

Video Timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the House 00:29 – Design Influenced by the Environment 01:04 – Designing for Light and Airflow 01:25 – Concrete and Clay Finishes 02:57 – The Courtyard 03:15 – Neutral Colour Palette 03:40 – Landscaping and Pool Design 04:10 – Helical Staircase 04:53 – Ensuite Bathroom Features 05:18 – Concrete Kitchen Bench 05:36 – Successful Partnership

With easy access to the beach, it was important that the materials used within the structure were able to be self-maintained and endure the harsh Australian climate and beachside environment.

The dream home embraces open spaces, reminiscent of the nearby ocean. A continued theme of open space is felt throughout the house and is extended out towards the garden. The entryway is greeted with a void and an enticing sculptural staircase. Feeling as though it evolved out of the ground, the staircase draws the eye inward and up to the second level. The curve of the stairs reflects the textured clay render, Rockcote Japanese Otsumigaki, used throughout the interior and evokes a visual connection to ocean waves.

The Otsumigaki is both subtle and reflective, interacting with natural light and giving forth a lustre that is completely distinctive to the interior space. The raw nature of the Japanese clay and concrete used throughout the dream home acts as a significant connection to the beachfront. The textured material brings with it a warmth whilst also an endurance to the elements, specifically the salt from the ocean and the strength of the Australian sun.

Concrete is also used in the home’s ceiling, allowing for both thermal and noise barriers within the interior spaces. The material is also used in the kitchen bench and is in keeping with the natural, neutral colour palette present within the dream home. Otsu House also features a courtyard space, acting as both a lightwell and a visual connection for the downstairs rooms. The doors are able to be opened to allow a breeze to flow throughout the dream home, creating patterns with light and shadows. The linen curtains soften the raw concrete throughout and provide a delicate balance within the natural material palette.

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